Making a Difference with the Climate Crew
By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter
From September to December 2022, three of Molokai’s young women strived to make an impact and create awareness for Hawaii’s climate policy and clean energy. Kirakai Yamazaki-Gray, Kayla Holm and myself, Sage Yamashita, were picked to join Blue Planet’s Cohort called Climate Crew with eight other Maui County high school students. Through the cohort, the students completed multiple climate actions, meetings, and workshops, helping the Climate Crew’s work to reach more than 1500 people.
“I was really impressed with the Molokai girls that joined the Maui County Climate Crew,” said Griff Jurgens, Blue Planet’s education director. “Their climate actions reached a wide range of community members and they had a very large impact on that.”
Climate Crew brings action to local communities with “climate actions.” According to Jurgens, climate actions are self directed projects that address climate change issues in specific communities. They can range from small scale to large scale.
Starting with their first climate action at Molokai community event La Pilina, the three girls held a booth educating Molokai’s community on the Climate Crew’s efforts. Community members learned how to contribute simply at home to Hawaii’s 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 law through games and pledges.
“Climate Crew has made me more interested in finding more sustainable solutions and renewable energy solutions for the community of Molokai,” said Yamazaki-Gray.
The three girls went on to record radio segments for Hawaii Public Radio. Answering the question of “How does climate change affect your life?” the girls reflected on life on Molokai and how climate change affects the community.
Holm, Yamazaki-Gray and I presented in classrooms at Molokai High School to reach the youth audience and finish the last required part of the Climate Crew.
Traveling to Maui in December to conclude our journey with the Climate Crew, the Molokai girls met up with the other Maui County members. Each presented their achievements and future goals with an audience that included Mayor Victorino.
“My favorite part of Climate Crew was meeting new people with the same passions as me, and being introduced to new opportunities,” said Holm.
Holm’s final venture with the Climate Crew didn’t stop on Maui. Her work in the crew landed her an interview on KHON2’s Living 808 with Jurgens.
“The Molokai community should be very proud of the three girls that participated in the Climate Crew,” said Jurgen. “It should feel like they’re in good hands because these girls are passionate, they’re creative, they’re smart, and I have no doubt we’ll reach our 100 percent goal with mine like this guiding us to that finish line.”